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Pay Attention to the iPhone’s Emergency SOS Auto Call Feature

Pay Attention to the iPhone’s Emergency SOS Auto Call Feature

Did you know that pressing and holding the side button and one of the volume buttons on an iPhone 8 or later brings up a screen that lets you power your iPhone off, show your medical ID, and invoke Emergency SOS? (On earlier iPhones, press the side or top button five times.) Slide Emergency SOS, […]

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Keep the Menu Bar Showing in Full Screen in macOS 12 Monterey

Keep the Menu Bar Showing in Full Screen in macOS 12 Monterey

Do you like using full-screen mode on your new M1-based MacBook Pro but hate having the menu bar disappear unless you move the pointer to the top of the screen? Happily, in macOS 12 Monterey, Apple has at long last added a setting to keep the menu bar visible at all times. Open System Preferences […]

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Avoid Inclement Weather by Enabling Notifications in iOS 15’s Weather App

Avoid Inclement Weather by Enabling Notifications in iOS 15’s Weather App

Thanks to Apple’s 2020 acquisition of weather company Dark Sky, the iPhone’s Weather app has learned some new tricks in iOS 15. (It still isn’t available on the iPad, oddly.) Most obvious is its addition of weather maps that can show precipitation, temperature, and air quality. More subtle are the notifications that can alert you […]

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FaceTime Gains Cool New Features in Apple’s Latest Operating Systems

FaceTime Gains Cool New Features in Apple’s Latest Operating Systems

It’s no exaggeration to say that videoconferencing went mainstream during the pandemic. However, Apple’s FaceTime didn’t stack up well against Zoom and others due to its emulation of the telephone call experience, questionable interface decisions, and lack of cross-platform compatibility. However, with iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS 12 Monterey, Apple has nearly brought FaceTime […]

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Apple’s Evolution of Do Not Disturb Helps You Focus

Apple’s Evolution of Do Not Disturb Helps You Focus

Between texts, alarms, reminders, calls, and myriad other notifications on our iPhones, iPads, and Macs, it’s a miracle we get anything done at all. To free us from this onslaught, Apple previously provided Do Not Disturb, which let you set times during which you could be free from interruption. In iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and […]

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Print Mailing Labels for Your Holiday Cards with Apple’s Contacts App

Print Mailing Labels for Your Holiday Cards with Apple’s Contacts App

If mailing your holiday cards (which you designed in Photos with a plug-in like Motif or Mimeo Photos, right?) is made harder by having to write addresses on envelopes, you can skip the handwriting step this year. Although many people don’t realize this, it’s easy to print mailing labels on standard label stock using the […]

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Use Visual Look Up in Photos in iOS 15 to Identify Plants, Pets, and More

Use Visual Look Up in Photos in iOS 15 to Identify Plants, Pets, and More

Have you ever wanted to identify a plant, flower, or pet breed, or find out what that famous painting is called? Us too. In iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, Apple added a new AI-driven feature called Visual Look Up that provides more information about photos of plants, flowers, pets, books, artworks, and landmarks. When you’re […]

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With Apple Watch Faces, Too Much Choice Can Be Confusing

With Apple Watch Faces, Too Much Choice Can Be Confusing

The Apple Watch has a lot to offer older people, including heart rate monitoring, atrial fibrillation detection, fall detection, and electrocardiogram recording. But if you are—or are helping someone who is—of the generation where watches once did nothing beyond telling the time, too many options can be overwhelming. Adding to the confusion is how easy […]

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Apple Provides Temporary iCloud Backup Space for New Device Transfers

Apple Provides Temporary iCloud Backup Space for New Device Transfers

When you move from an old iPhone or iPad to a new one, the easiest approach is often the Quick Start device-to-device transfer. But if that doesn’t work, or if you have to give up one device before receiving the other, iCloud Backup is a fine alternative. Fine, that is, if you have enough iCloud […]

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Safari 15.1 Reverses Course, Reverts to Old Tab Interface

Safari 15.1 Reverses Course, Reverts to Old Tab Interface

With the betas of Safari 15 on the Mac and iPad, Apple experimented with a variety of interface tweaks related to tabs. By the time Safari 15 shipped, however, Apple had pulled back on the more radical changes from the betas, offering the new Compact Tab Bar layout and colorized tab bar as options. Even […]

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Need to Resize Images in Various Ways? Give Preview a Try

Need to Resize Images in Various Ways? Give Preview a Try

Even those of us who don’t work with graphics professionally often find ourselves needing to resize images. Perhaps you have a large square headshot, but the site to which you’re uploading requires it to be exactly 100 by 100 pixels. Or maybe you have an iPhone 13 Pro photo that’s 4032 by 3024, but you […]

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When Migrating to a New iPhone or iPad, Try Quick Start First

When Migrating to a New iPhone or iPad, Try Quick Start First

You have a new iPhone or iPad—congratulations! When transferring your data to the new device, you have three options: Quick Start, an iCloud backup, or a Mac backup. All will work, but they don’t quite provide the same end result (particularly if you didn’t encrypt...

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New Features to Try (Or Not) in Safari 15

New Features to Try (Or Not) in Safari 15

Along with a new version of Safari in iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, Apple has released Safari 15 for macOS 11 Big Sur and macOS 10.15 Catalina. Why do this before macOS 12 Monterey ships? Some of the browser’s new capabilities—notably the Tab Groups feature—integrate it more...

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What Is iCloud+ and What Can You Do With It?

What Is iCloud+ and What Can You Do With It?

As you upgrade to iOS 15, iPadOS 15 (and macOS 12 Monterey by the end of the year), you’re going to see references to iCloud+. You might even already be an iCloud+ subscriber! That’s because iCloud+ is Apple’s new name for what you get if you pay for additional iCloud...

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Beware the Bulging Battery! (And What to Do If Yours Expands)

Beware the Bulging Battery! (And What to Do If Yours Expands)

We’ve been seeing a spate of bulging batteries of late, both in Mac laptops and iPhones. A bulging battery is a Very Bad Thing and must be dealt with immediately because it could catch fire or even explode. As lithium-ion batteries age, the chemical reactions that...

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Picking the Best Mac for a College-Bound Student

Picking the Best Mac for a College-Bound Student

Do you have a child heading off to college soon? As you’re undoubtedly aware from high school, a computer is essential for a college student. If you haven’t been paying close attention to Apple’s Mac lineup, you might wonder which model makes the most sense. First,...

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Ransomware Is on the Rise: Learn How to Protect Your Macs

Ransomware Is on the Rise: Learn How to Protect Your Macs

The scourge of ransomware isn’t yet common on the Mac, but it makes sense to prepare for the possibility—before your organization is hit with a ransom demand.In cybercriminal circles, ransomware is all the rage. Once it has infected a computer, it encrypts all the...

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Two Important Tips for External Storage Devices

Two Important Tips for External Storage Devices

It’s tempting to think that most external storage devices—whether simple hard drives or more complicated network-attached storage (NAS) units—are relatively similar because they all do roughly the same thing. However, a recent problem with older Western Digital My...

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Don’t Cook Your Digital Devices in the Summer Heat

Don’t Cook Your Digital Devices in the Summer Heat

As climate change continues to wreak havoc on our weather, many areas are seeing record temperatures this summer. You may be able to trade your business suit for shorts or skirts to stay more comfortable, but your electronic gear can’t do the same. Keeping your tech...

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Pin Your Chats in Messages for Faster Access

Pin Your Chats in Messages for Faster Access

A new feature of Messages in both iOS 14 and macOS 11 Big Sur is the option to pin up to nine conversations at the top of the conversation list for easy access. No longer do you have to worry about them scrolling out of sight. On an iPhone or iPad, touch and hold a...

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Two Tricks for Fixing a Mac That’s Restarting Unexpectedly

Two Tricks for Fixing a Mac That’s Restarting Unexpectedly

Although extremely uncommon, it’s not unheard of for a Mac, particularly an older model, to restart unexpectedly. If it happens once, chalk it up to cosmic rays and move on. But if it happens multiple times, try these two things right off. First, use compressed air to...

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AirTag Basics and How to Protect Yourself from Stalking

AirTag Basics and How to Protect Yourself from Stalking

Apple’s new AirTag tracking device is an amazing bit of technology—it’s an elegant disc about the size of a stack of four quarters that communicates its location with other Apple devices using Bluetooth and Ultra Wideband. Pair an AirTag with your iPhone and put it in...

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What Is the Cloud?

What Is the Cloud?

People talk about “the cloud” all the time these days, but what do they really mean? There’s no agreed-on definition, which can render some conversations nearly inscrutable. We can’t pretend to have the final answer—if there will ever be such a thing—but here’s how we...

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Use Messages to Share Your Current Location Quickly

Use Messages to Share Your Current Location Quickly

We’ve all gotten that panicked “Where are you?!?” text message at some point. Sometimes it’s an easy question to answer, but at other times, the answer is “Well, right here, wherever that is.” That’s unsatisfying, of course, but using Messages on your iPhone, you can...

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Four Ways to Reduce Zoom Fatigue

Four Ways to Reduce Zoom Fatigue

After a long day of video calls, you might feel like your brain has been wrung out like a wet washcloth—we certainly do. It’s exhausting to stare into a computer for hours every day while participating in meetings or classes. This condition is called Zoom fatigue, and...

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Nine Reasons to Put Your Mac’s Pointer in a Corner

Nine Reasons to Put Your Mac’s Pointer in a Corner

Nine Reasons to Put Your Mac’s Pointer in a Corner If your Mac is like ours, it’s a busy place, with oodles of open windows and lots of icons lying around. If you want to display the Desktop or see a single app’s windows, you may find yourself clicking around or using...

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Are You Incurring Technical Debt? Avoid It by Staying Current

Are You Incurring Technical Debt? Avoid It by Staying Current

Have you heard the term technical debt? It’s what you incur whenever you delay upgrading software and hardware for too long. It’s like forgetting to brush your teeth regularly and putting off dental checkups. There may be no immediate downside, but the ongoing...

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Keep iPhone 12 and MagSafe Accessories Away from Pacemakers

Keep iPhone 12 and MagSafe Accessories Away from Pacemakers

Remember when we had to keep magnets away from floppy disks to avoid scrambling them? Modern storage is no longer vulnerable, but magnets and electromagnetic fields from consumer electronics can interfere with medical devices, like implanted pacemakers and...

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Reclaim Local Storage Space by Removing iCloud Drive Downloads

Reclaim Local Storage Space by Removing iCloud Drive Downloads

With iCloud Drive, Apple provides an Optimize Mac Storage checkbox that, when checked, stores the full contents of iCloud Drive on the Mac only if there’s enough space. However, you may wish to recover local storage space without selecting that option—luckily, that’s...

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Getting Started with 1Password

Getting Started with 1Password

We’ve long recommended that everyone use a password manager like 1Password instead of attempting to memorize or write down passwords. Although there are other password managers, 1Password is the leading solution for Apple users, thanks to a focus on macOS and iOS from...

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8 Ways Apple Improved the Camera App in iOS 14

8 Ways Apple Improved the Camera App in iOS 14

It’s difficult for most of us to imagine that a camera—something that still feels like it’s a standalone object—could be improved significantly with a software update. But now that cameras are part of our phones, code is king. With iOS 14, the camera in your iPhone...

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Flash Is Dead—Uninstall Flash Player to Keep Your Mac Secure

Flash Is Dead—Uninstall Flash Player to Keep Your Mac Secure

In July 2017, Adobe announced that it would stop distributing and updating Flash Player on December 31st, 2020. Web standards like HTML5 provide a viable alternative to Flash content, and organizations that relied on Flash have had three years to replace it. Because...

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So, Are Apple’s New M1-Based Macs Any Good?

So, Are Apple’s New M1-Based Macs Any Good?

In November, Apple unveiled its new M1 chip and three new Macs that use it: the MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and Mac mini. The M1-based MacBook Air replaces the previous Intel-based MacBook Air, but with the 13-inch MacBook Pro and the Mac mini, Apple continues...

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When Should You Upgrade to macOS 11 Big Sur?

When Should You Upgrade to macOS 11 Big Sur?

Apple made macOS 11 Big Sur available this week and, the question looms large—when should you install? (Note that we say when and not if. There’s no harm in delaying a major operating system upgrade until Apple has squashed early bugs. But waiting too long puts you at...

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Home Screen Widgets Take Center Stage in iOS 14

Home Screen Widgets Take Center Stage in iOS 14

A significant new feature in iOS 14 is Home screen widgets, information-rich tiles that share space on a Home screen with app icons. iPhone users familiar with Google’s Android smartphone operating system have long clamored for widgets because they provide quick...

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What’s MDM, and Why Is It Useful for Organizations?

What’s MDM, and Why Is It Useful for Organizations?

For those who work in organizations, regardless of size, you know how much effort is involved with coordinating a group’s technology. It can take quite some time to set up a new Mac, iPad, or iPhone with all the right apps, settings, and logins. And that’s just to get...

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Apple Releases Four iPhone 12 Models and the HomePod mini

Apple Releases Four iPhone 12 Models and the HomePod mini

For the second time in less than a month, Apple has made a splashy announcement. In its “Hi, Speed” event, the company unveiled a new lineup of four iPhone 12 models along with the new HomePod mini.   HomePod mini   Just as Apple did in its event, let’s get...

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Too Many Home Screens in iOS 14? Here’s How to Hide Them!

Too Many Home Screens in iOS 14? Here’s How to Hide Them!

The App Library in iOS 14 ensures that you can find all the apps installed on your iPhone without having to hunt through Home screens. So if you already have a lot of Home screens that contain a random assemblage of apps, it might be easier to hide those screens than...

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Make Your Finder Window Columns the Right Size

Make Your Finder Window Columns the Right Size

We’re big fans of column view in Finder windows (choose View > as Columns). You never have to worry about missing icons that are outside the window, everything is sorted alphabetically, and selecting a file shows a preview. But the column widths can be too thin,...

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Beware iCloud Phishing Phone Calls!

Beware iCloud Phishing Phone Calls!

We’ve been hearing reports of an uptick in the scam phone calls that claim to be from Apple. If you answer, an automated message tells you that your iCloud account has been breached and asks you to call a provided 1-866 number. Do not do this! Apple will never call...

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Rename Bluetooth Devices for Easy Management

Rename Bluetooth Devices for Easy Management

It’s all too easy to end up with a boatload of Bluetooth devices connected to your Mac. Apple devices will likely have sensible names, like Magic Mouse 2, but what if someone has given you a device with their name in it? Or you’ve ended up with a device called...

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Customize What Appears in New Finder Windows with This Tip

Customize What Appears in New Finder Windows with This Tip

When you’re in the Finder, choosing File > New Finder Window does, as you’d expect, open a new Finder window. But what folder appears in that window? By default, new Finder windows open to Recents, which is a built-in smart folder showing recently opened documents....

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Tips for Setting Up a Comfortable and Effective Home Work Space

Tips for Setting Up a Comfortable and Effective Home Work Space

Vast numbers of people who previously reported for work at an office every day are now working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s sensible, and if you’re included in that group, there was probably even a little thrill of “I get to work from home!” at...

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